Long Beach Municipal Auditorium | Terrace Theatre

The Original Building:

Long Beach Municipal Auditorium
S. Pine Ave. & E. Seaside Way   Long Beach, CA   90802    | map |


Architect:  Unknown

Capacity: 6,000, according to a Los Angeles Public Library photo caption.

The building was of wood frame construction built on pilings on the beach.

The Auditorium in the Movies:

The Harold Lloyd two-reeler "Number, Please?" (Hal Roach/
Pathe, 1920) has this shot looking east on Seaside Way
with the Municipal Auditorium in the distance on the left.
larger view

The film gives us an intercut mix of great amusement-area
 views from Venice, Ocean Park and The Pike at Long Beach.
See our Theatres In Movies post about "Number, Please?" for
more shots with the Rosemary Theatre in Ocean Park, the
California/Venice Theatre and the Strand on The Pike.

Status: Demolished after the new auditorium was completed in 1932.  See the great
USC Archives aerial view that shows both buildings.

    Card Cow   


A lovely view of the interior from the Card Cow
collection. It was postmarked 1907. 
full size view

A wonderful view looking east toward the Auditorium.
The Pike amusement area is in the foreground. 
full size view

The building with the flag and columned
facade is the bathhouse.

More interior views in the collection:
 | another interior view  |  another version -- interior  |

Exterior views:
facade night view --"welcome" sign  |  night view c. 1911 -- showing the pier  |
 |   daytime pier view  | facade view  |  looking east -- toward the pier  |
 |  birdseye view another birdseye view  |



We're looking over the train station to get a grand view
 of the 1905 Municipal auditorium. The card was postmarked
 in 1909. Right behind the station we get a sliver of the
 Theatorium. Mike Leach had it on eBay.

A fine c.1919 beach view of the State Theatre
 framing going up at the left behind the roller coaster.
 At the center is the 1905 Auditorium.

full size view

Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for
 finding these items on eBay!

    Huntington Digital Library   

A 1924 look west along Ocean Blvd. from Pettit's Studio.
The huge West Coast Theatre is in the center, with
 the stagehouse of the Fox Long Beach behind.
full size view

On the Huntington Library page, you can
zoom in and pan around to look at details.

A detail from the view above. Note the original Municipal
Auditorium, the Ritz (later the Tracy) and the State Theatre
from the left side of the photo. Click on the photo to enlarge.

    Long Beach Heritage Museum   


A nice birds eye view of the Auditorium from
the Long Beach Heritage Museum collection. 
full size view

    Long Beach in Vintage Postcards   

by Marlin Heckman
Arcadia Publishing Postcard History Series
Arcadia Publishing  | preview on Google Books

A 1916 aerial view from this great postcard book. 
full size view

Also see:

| front cover photo |

    Long Beach Public Library   


A c.1920 view looking east along the Pike. That's
the State Theatre on the left and the old
 Municipal Auditorium on the right. The image
 is a tinted postcard from the Library's collection.
full size view

A 1915 view from the Long Beach Public Library.
We're looking east on Seaside -- the Auditorium is at the right.
full size view

Also in the collection:
20s view -- on the beach looking east  |
| more auditorium photos  |

    Jeff Gritchen - SoCal Seen   


The "then" shot  is a 1925 view down the pier toward the
Auditorium. The 2009 "now" photo by Jeff Gritchen shows
 the area filled in as South Pine St.

The two photos were a post on the Long Beach Seen blog
Jeff was doing while he was working for the Long Beach
 Press Telegram, where he was a staff photographer.

Jeff's blog continues, now with a wider focus
 than just Long Beach, as So Cal Seen.

    L.A. Public Library Collection   


A view from the Library's collection looking toward the
water on Pine St. The building on the left is the State Theatre.

The Auditorium is visible on the left behind the State
Theatre. On the right is the Ocean Center building. 
 full size view

A 1929 view from the pier.  That's the State
Theatre building beyond the Auditorium.
 full size view

A 20s interior view from Winstead Photo.
full size view

Also in the Library's collection:
| c.1925 aerial view -- note Hoyt's Vaudeville -- later the Strand |
| 20s interior -- sidewall view |

    Noirish L.A. - Skyscraperpage.com   



Beaudry's post 1165 has this wonderful night
postcard showing the Auditorium on the Skyscraperpage
forum thread  Noirish LA - page 59.  
full size view

Head to the posts on page 59 for lots more
great Los Angeles postcard views.

Another version of the night postcard
appears on Photos of Los Angeles.

    Photos of Los Angeles   


A delightful 1908 view added to the Photos of Los Angeles
collection by Alexander Djordjevich. At the head of the pier
is the Municipal Auditorium and the Theatorium is in
the center of the photo. 
full size view

Looking west along Seaside toward the Municipal
Auditorium and the Capitol/Tracy Theatre in 1929. 
full size view

    USC Archives    


A postcard view of the 1905 Auditorium
from the USC Archives.
 full size view

See the USC view in the column at right
with the new Auditorium under construction
and the old one still in place.

A wonderful c.1926 panoramic view of the waterfront. We get a bit of the
Strand Theatre at the far left, lots of The Pike, the State Theatre building
 (note the roof sign) and the old Civic Auditorium. It's a C.C. Pierce
photo from the California Historical Society. 
full size view

Also see:
 |  a very similar panoramic view - dated 1925  |

One of 3 details of the panorama the USC Archives offers,
this one a panel showing the Civic Auditorium in more detail.
 full size view

Also see a faded view from the water
in the California State Library collection.

    A Visit to Old Los Angeles   


An interesting postcard view of the Auditorium
from Brent Dickerson's Long Beach: Part 3 Pier and Pike
page. Visit the site for lots of other interesting views.

Another great view -- this time from Long Beach Part 2.
That's the trolley station on Ocean Ave. in the foreground.

See also:
 |   auditorium at night  |  interior view  |
 Long Beach Part 1  |

about photos from other
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The Replacement:

Long Beach Municipal Auditorium
300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802    
| map |


Architect: J. Harold McDowell

A postcard view of the 1932 Auditorium. It's a card
by Longshaw Card. Co., Los Angeles.
larger view

The caption reads:
 "Sheltered from the ocean by the 3800 foot semi-circular Rainbow Pier,
this giant structure, the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium, is the scene
of many important athletic, civic and social events."

The second Auditorium building extended 500 feet out into the Pacific Ocean. It had a symphony hall in the rounded end of the building facing the ocean. Also there was a huge exhibition space with a flat main floor and a balcony (with fixed seats) wrapping around.

The stages of the two spaces were back to back with a partition between them that could be opened for events requiring extraordinary stage depth or storage space.

The mosaic on the facade was assembled in 1937. It was done under the direction of Stanton MacDonald-Wright and Albert Henry King from a design by Henry Allen Nord. It was meant to be seen from miles away because of its huge proportions and the location at the end of American Way (Route 6). American was later renamed Long Beach Blvd.

The building got an Arena added behind it in 1964.

Status: Demolished in 1975 for the Pacific Terrace Theatre and Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. 

The mosaic from the facade was removed when the building was demolished and now is on one of the parking garages at the site.

    Card Cow   


A look at the front of the Auditorium in a card
from the Card Cow collection. 
full size view

Also in the collection:
 |  from the northwest  |  similar exterior angle  |
  | view from the west -- up high  |  west side view  |
 |  view from the water  |  aerial view --from the northeast  |
 |  skyline -- from the water  |  another skyline view  |

    California State Library   


A c.1938 look up Seaside toward the Tracy Theatre with the
Auditorium on the right. It's a photo by William Horace Austin.
full size view | data page

Also in the collection:
| early Mott Studios facade view | aerial view - c.1932 |
| 1949 postcard - from the water |
| both stages - dividing wall open | across symphony hall |
 | exhibition hall - from the rear| proscenium detail |



A terrific card looking east at the 1932 Auditorium
and Seaside Way. It was postmarked 1953.
It was on eBay for $2.00.
full size view

Thanks to Michelle Gerdes for
 finding the card on eBay!

    Long Beach Public Library   


A look at the new Arena added on to
the Auditorium in 1964. 
full size view

Also in the collection:

 |  more auditorium photos  |

    L.A. Public Library Collection   


A 1939 facade view from the Library's collection.
full size view

A 1938 look at the east side of the massive building. 
That's the State Theatre building at right behind the
front of the Auditorium.
full size view

The Symphony Hall in 1932. The ocean was
at the right, behind the audience.
 full size view

A great view looking at the stage of the Symphony
Hall and on through to the exhibition hall.
full size view

The large exhibition hall in 1932. 
full size view

More interior views in the collection:
1932 view of the stage  |  30s proscenium view -- exhibition hall  |

More exterior views:

the mosaic  |  working on the mosaic  |  mosaic detail  |
|   30s aerial view  |  30s view from northwest  |
 |  1938 facade view -- looking down American Ave.  |
1938 view -- from the water  |

    New Deal Network    


A nice shot of the Mosaic that was
formerly on the facade. 
full size view

    Penny Postcards from California   


A postcard view of the Rainbow Pier and the Auditorium.
full size view

Also on the site:
| aerial view | view from the beach | front view  |
 | from Ocean Ave. | more Long Beach postcards  |

A postcard view of the Auditorium from Paul Prosise's
website "The Pike." It's one of several views on the
site's Municipal Auditorium page.

    Photos of Los Angeles    


A postcard view of the splendors of Long Beach
-- including the Auditorium. 
full size view

    Pomona Public Library    


A 1940 view looking east from the Pomona
Public Library's great Frasher Foto Card collection. 
full size view

Also in the collection:
  | aerial view | 1947 view looking north |

    USC Archives    


A proscenium detail.
full size view

The Symphony Hall auditorium.
full size view

A c.1932 birds eye view. The new Municipal
 Auditorium is on the waterfront at center. The
 State Theatre is at the far right with the Old
 Municipal Auditorium on the water behind it. 
full size view

A c. 1940 view from Padilla Studios looking east along
the beach and Seaside Way. We get a view of the
Capitol sign on the far left.  The big hulk is,
of course, the Municipal Auditorium. 
full size view

The views above are from the California Historical Society.

More interior views in the USC Archives:
stage view - battens down  |  stage view -- exhibition hall  |

More exteriors:
  | aerial view from the east  |  from the water  |
looking west on Seaside - 1961 - Automobile Club SC photo  |

The site at Pine & Seaside.

photo: Google Maps - 2010

It's now the mammoth Long Beach Convention &
Entertainment Center.  Off to the left is the Terrace Theatre.

On Google Maps: interactive view.

Building #3

Pacific Terrace Theatre
200 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach, CA  90802   | map |

Website:  www.longbeachcc.com 

1978 -- on the site of the 1932 Municipal Auditorium. 

Seating: 3,051

Architect: Allied Architects

The 60s Long Beach Arena still survives behind the Terrace Theatre.  The Arena seats 13,500  Also in the complex is the Center Theatre with 825 seats.

    Long Beach Convention Center   


On the Convention Center's Terrace Theatre
page we get a look toward the proscenium.
full size view

A look down Pine St. toward the water and the Queen Mary. 
The Terrace Theatre is out of the frame to the left. We're looking
 at the site of the 1905 Municipal Auditorium in this frame.

    Wayne Thom Photographer   


A look at the lobby by Mr. Thom. 
full size view

Looking across the auditorium.
full size view

See Mr. Thom's Terrace Theatre page
for lots more views of the building.